Welcome to Penngrove Elementary School’s Garden Enrichment Program (GEP)
The Garden Enrichment Program (GEP) mission is to provide the entire student body of Penngrove Elementary with inclusive, hands-on experience by growing, harvesting and eating food, learning about nutrition, healthy eating choices, and environmental literacy. We plant, harvest, and prepare food from the garden year round. Students study pollinators using our over 3000 square feet of California Native Pollinator Habitat that was installed in 2023 in partnership with School Garden Network of Sonoma County. Students also run a composting system, worm composting program, as well as an array of aeroponic grow towers. In addition to this, we engage with tool use, community building, art, games, and students get the social-emotional benefits of having time in the garden each week.
Throughout the year we engage in short and long term projects such as seed starting, planting the garden, learning to work together with tools, and creating habitat for insects and animals in the garden and around the school. We study plant parts, photosynthesis, pollination, nutrition and healthy eating choices, the seasons, solstice and equinox, food webs, ecosystems, the water cycle and weather. (And more!)
It is part of my mission as garden coordinator to provide a safe and accepting environment in which children can feel comfortable to express themselves and to engage with the natural world around them. The Garden program is mainly focused in our outdoor teaching garden but students also engage in projects around the entire campus such as clean up and beautification days as well as citizen scientist data collection and observation days.
Another important aspect of the GEP is that we provide volunteer opportunities to the student's parents or guardians so that they can also have an impact and an educational experience along with their student.